Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Felixstowe · Lent · Narnia · Sermon

Of Mice & Marshwiggles – Day 5 – Call

Of Mice & Marshwiggles – Day 5 – Call


To Read:

Setting the Scene:   The beginning of the book Prince Caspian shows that you don’t have to go ‘through a wardrobe’ to get into Narnia.

It was an empty, sleepy, country station and there was hardly anyone on the platform except themselves. Suddenly Lucy gave a sharp little cry, like someone who has been stung by a wasp.

‘What’s up, Lu?’ said Edmund – and then suddenly broke off and made a noise like ‘Ow!’

‘What on earth -’, began Peter, and then he too suddenly changed what he had been going to say. Instead, he said, ‘Susan, let go! What are you doing? Where are you dragging me to?’ 

‘I’m not touching you,’ said Susan. ‘Someone is pulling me. Oh – oh -oh -stop it!’  

Everyone noticed that all the others’ faces had gone very white.  

‘I felt just the same,’ said Edmund in a breathless voice. ‘As if I were being dragged along. A most frightful pulling – ugh! it’s beginning again.’  

‘Me too,’ said Lucy. ‘Oh, I can’t bear it.’  

‘Look sharp!’ shouted Edmund. ‘All catch hands and keep together. This is magic – I can tell by the feeling. Quick!’

‘Yes,’ said Susan. ‘Hold hands. Oh, I do wish it would stop – oh!’  

Next moment the luggage, the seat, the platform, and the station had completely vanished. The four children, holding hands and panting, found themselves standing in a woody place – such a woody place that branches were sticking into them and there was hardly room to move. They all rubbed their eyes and took a deep breath.  

‘Oh, Peter!’ exclaimed Lucy. ‘Do you think we can possibly have got back to Narnia?’  

Prince Caspian – Chapter One – The Island (© C.S. Lewis)


‘And now we know what it feels like for the Jinn,’ said Edmund with a chuckle. ‘Golly! It’s a bit uncomfortable to know that we can be whistled for like that. It’s worse than what Father says about living at the mercy of the telephone.’  

‘But we want to be here, don’t we,’ said Lucy, ‘If Aslan wants us?’  

Prince Caspian – Chapter Eight – How They Left the Island (© C.S. Lewis)


To Reflect:

‘Living at the mercy of the telephone’ is such polite wording for that which often rules many of our lives. Do you, on occasion, find the ringing of the phone to be a nuisance? Are there times when you hope someone else would pick it up, or it would stop ringing before you get there or (my favourite) that it is indeed a wrong number? When that happens, perversely perhaps, I enjoy having a chat with a complete stranger and pray a blessing for them on the rest of their day.

But in all my ventures into the world of telecommunications ‘mercy’ is the word I would least use to describe the call of the telephone. However when it comes to describing the call of God, ‘mercy’ is perhaps the correct word to use.

In the Chronicles of Narnia there are many ways to answer the call of Aslan to come towitch_wardrobe Narnia; wardrobes and pictures of ships, Magic rings and trumpet calls, even a train smash on British Railways. All of these will transport you to Narnia. But every time you go to Narnia, in every story, it is for a purpose and this requires a task to be fulfilled – a call to be answered.

The children in the stories are not in Narnia by accident; Aslan has a purpose for them on every visit. So we as well are not where we are in this life by accident. God has called us to this place and this moment in our lives for a purpose. When we realize this, we may come to understand a little more of God’s ‘mercy’. God does not intend us to lead pointless unfulfilled lives. God has a plan for each and every one of us and all we need do is be ready to hear God’s call and follow.

Lucy again has the wisest words in our two extracts and reminds her sister and brothers of the possibility of going to Narnia again;

‘But we want to be here, don’t we,’ said Lucy, ‘If Aslan wants us?’

Once in a while, the call is not as fresh as it used to be and ‘mercy’ is not always the word that springs to the tip of our tongues when we meet God’s people. Sometimes going about God’s business may not feel as if it is a mercy-filled event! Occasionally we are wearied in the service of others and we may need to hear Lucy’s rhetorical question. We do indeed ‘want to be here, don’t we?’ When that happens learn to breathe a silent ‘thank-you’ then each time God’s telephone rings we will find ourselves with yet another opportunity to live under the mercy of God.

To Pray:

Lord, help me today to realize that you will be speaking to me through the events of the day,
Through people, through things and through all creation.
Give me ears, eyes and heart to perceive you, however veiled your presence may be.
Give me insight to see through the exterior of things to the interior truth.
Give me your spirit of discernment.
O Lord, you know how busy I must be this day.
If I forget you, do not forget me.

Jacob Astley, Baron of Reading, before the Battle of Edgehill 1642

In ‘The Book of a Thousand Prayers’ © Angela Ashwin – Compiler


To Do:

Try to find some moment today when you can show ‘mercy’.

Spend extra time with someone who does not understand how valuable your time is.

Wait for another to completely finish what they have to say before you give them a reply.

Say ‘yes’ to a request for help or goods or money to which you would normally say ‘no’. (Remember you can, sadly, find a Big Issue seller almost anywhere).

Wherever we live there are plenty of people who will need a little mercy in their lives today. Demonstrate that you live under the mercy of God by showing mercy yourself.

© Andrew Dotchin 2018

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